Vietnam needs to use energy more efficiently: World Bank

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Vietnam, now a net energy exporter, will be a net importer by 2030 if it doesn't change the way it uses energy, according to a World Bank report released Monday.


Strong economic growth over the past decade has raised the energy demand in Vietnam more than twofold, and it will possibly increase another twofold in the next 10 years, the World Bank has said.

The global lender's report "Winds of Change: East Asia's Sustainable Energy Future" said Vietnam had initiated a national program on sustainable energy but it still needs special policies and regulations to carry it out.

It said renewable energy including water, wind and solar power could meet most energy demand in East Asia by 2030, according to the report.


Xiaodong Wang, lead author of the report and senior energy specialist for the World Bank, said the technical and policy means already exist for the necessary transformation into low-carbon cities.

The WB suggested Veitnam issue policies to encourage the production of power from renewable energy and natural gas.


Vietnam plans to produce 5 percent of all power from renewable energy in 2020.


The report said Vietnam should focus investment on technologies that use energy more efficiently at industrial projects over the next decade.


The home-appliance market should be changed to include more energy-efficient products, the bank said, adding that urban planning and public transport would be crucial factors in reducing energy demand.


According to the report, a 10-fold increase in East Asia's GDP over the last three decades has tripled energy consumption, which is expected to double again in the next two decades as the urban population increases by 50 percent and industrialization of the region continues.


It said major investments in energy efficiency and a switch to renewable sources of power in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam the six major energy consumers in East Asia could reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy security and improve local environments.


"What is required is a paradigm shift to a new low-carbon development model with sustainable lifestyles," said Jim Adams, World Bank Vice President for the East Asia & Pacific Region.


Wang said "what's needed is political will and unprecedented international cooperation to meet the financing needs."


The report estimates that around $80 billion dollars a year is needed in the next 20 years to make existing technology carbon-friendly or carbon-neutral.

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